Around 1,215 hectares of arable lands were submerged by the Mapithel Dam (Thoubal Multipurpose project). It devastated the environment and livelihood of the villagers.
By Naorem Tanoranjan
Basic infrastructure in the interior parts of Manipur remains far from adequate and continues to be a major challenge. Failure of the development paradigm adopted by the state can be easily felt by the citizens. Though underdevelopment can be witnessed every season, monsoon offers the best chance to assess not only the pace of development but also citizen’s resentment. Social media is agog with pictures of dilapidated lanes, roads and highways.
Chadong Village in Kamjong district is just 32 km from the capital city of Imphal. Yet, the basic infrastructure such as roads, water supply, primary health care centre, etc. of the village remains in shambles. The villagers are irked by the condition of the village which also happens to be a popular tourist destination in recent times.
TFM went for a ground report and found out that the road between Muirei village and Ramrei village was black-topped. But the remaining road leading to Chadong remains unfinished since 2014-15. The village committee took the matter into their own hands and in 2016-17, they repaired the road. But it is falling apart again during this monsoon season.
Although the construction of a water reservoir was started and pipes were also laid, the project remains incomplete. The villagers are finding alternative ways and some are even buying drinking water of 500 Litre at Rs 200 to 250. Health care facilities and educational institutions remain a distant dream.
According to former village chairman Asang Kasar, the construction of roads in Chadong began after the base course layers were laid and pre-mixed preparations were placed in 2014-15. But it was not upgraded to a blacktop road. With no drainage system along the road, waterlogging remains a common scene every rainy season, he added.
In 2016, the water resource department constructed three water reservoirs at Chadong new site and west site. Even pipes were also laid. Although there is no shortage of water supply, the project remains unfinished.
In 2017, a primary health centre was constructed. But it has not been inaugurated. As such, health care remains non-existent in the village.
The state government started the construction of a primary school in the village in 2017. But it remains unfinished. The children of the village had to be kept in boardings and hostels in other places for schooling.
Asang Kasar informed TFM that around 1,215 hectares of arable lands were submerged by the Mapithel Dam (Thoubal Multipurpose project). It devastated the environment and livelihood of the villagers. So the villagers migrated to a more suitable and safe land in 2017.
A memorandum of agreement was signed with the state government for rehabilitation and resettlement. As the agreement was not fulfilled, several representations have also been submitted but to no avail. The villagers drew the attention of the state government to the plight of the people of the area.